12 Days of Impact Campaign

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOCAL TECH STARTUP ENCOURAGES COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 

THROUGH 12 DAYS OF IMPACT CAMPAIGN

The 12 Days of Impact campaign kicks off on Giving Tuesday, inspiring acts of kindness and generosity

WATERLOO, ON | NOVEMBER 29, 2022 Profound Impact™ Corporation, a local startup based in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor, is giving back to the community this holiday season and encouraging other companies to get involved. 

The 12 Days of Impact kicks off on Giving Tuesday, building on the global movement to encourage people and organizations to contribute their time, resources and talents to making their community a better place.

“The Profound Impact team knows that small acts of kindness and generosity can have a big impact within our community,” says Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, founder and CEO of Profound Impact. “Giving back does not have to be time-consuming, expensive, or difficult and the 12 Days of Impact calendar really proves it. For the second year in a row, we’re engaging our whole team in these simple acts of kindness and we hope to encourage others to do the same.”

The small team with big hearts at Profound Impact has developed a calendar of community actions throughout the month of December. From donating clothing to helping out a neighbour, the campaign offers simple suggestions on how to make our communities stronger by working together. 

“We’re challenging others in Waterloo Region and across southern Ontario to take part in the 12 Days of Impact,” Shannon-Vanstone says. “We want to build a community of ambassadors who are committed to making an impact where they live and work. No action is too big or too small and our calendar focuses on how to make giving simple and accessible to everyone.”

Anyone accepting the challenge is encouraged to follow along with Profound Impact’s calendar or create their own. Participants can share their actions online through #12DaysOfImpact.

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ABOUT PROFOUND IMPACT CORPORATION 

Profound Impact is a female-founded Canadian company located in the Toronto-Waterloo technology corridor. Profound Impact’s data, AI and analytics driven solutions help education, research and social impact organizations automate their processes, measure program impact, tell their story and inform strategy. Profound Impact’s products include Research Impact, which automatically matches researchers to funding opportunities; Career Impact, which provides organizations with actionable insights  by analyzing  the career trajectory of program participants; and Connection Impact, which provides a platform for connecting organizations’ stakeholders to measure and visualize impact. These three products involve different stakeholders, but all work towards the important goal of connecting great people to do great things and maximizing their worldwide impact.

Website: www.profoundimpact.com 

Facebook: @aprofoundimpact

Instagram: @aprofoundimpact 

LinkedIn: Profound Impact Corporation

Twitter: @aprofoundimpact

For media inquiries, please contact:

Katherine Hill

Durrell Communications

katherineh@durrellcomm.com

media@profoundimpact.com 

Claudette McGowan

Claudette McGowan

Founder and CEO, Protexxa and Chair, CILAR

Claudette McGowan’s first mentor was her mother, a nurse who believed strongly in the importance of caring for and helping people. “There was always someone staying with our family, whether from the church or a family member,” she recalls. As a global information technology leader, entrepreneur, and mentor, Claudette puts into practice what was modelled by her mother by providing opportunities for participation, prosperity, and leadership.  

A graduate of Lakehead University and Athabasca University, with certifications from Ontario Tech University, York University, Harvard, and the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and an honorary doctorate from Carleton University, Claudette broke barriers as she advanced in her career. In 2020, Toronto Life recognized her as one of the city’s Top 50 Most Influential Torontonians. Digital Finance Institute honoured her as one of the Top 50 Canadian Women in FinTech, and the Women’s Executive Network recognized her as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada. In 2022, Claudette received the DMZ Woman of the Year Award and NACO, the National Angel Capital Organization, named her as a Nation Builder of the Year in Canada.  

In 2022, Claudette followed a calling to become an entrepreneur and founded Protexxa, a cybersecurity platform that leverages Artificial Intelligence to rapidly identify, evaluate, predict, and resolve cyber issues.  “Cybercrime has quadrupled since the pandemic” notes Claudette. “Through Protexxa, I can work with people around the world to help them assess cyber threats, train them to reduce cyber vulnerabilities and strengthen cyber capabilities.”

Fundamental to all of Claudette’s work is ensuring that support systems are in place for everyone, regardless of race, gender or age, in order to thrive and progress.  “There are 3.5 million open cybersecurity jobs in the world, 25,000 of them in Canada.  My goal is to create more cyber leaders,” she said.

To this end, Claudette helped found and is currently the chair of the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR), a group of senior Canadian business leaders committed to fighting systemic racism within the innovation economy.  CILAR was founded in 2020 to engage all people to participate in the growing innovation economy, which will soon represent half of the global GDP and workforce.  At CILAR, Claudette is one of the leaders overseeing the effort to focus on increasing access and opportunity for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour.  (BIPOC) men and women through five integrated pillars: 

Youth Development

Carve pathways for BIPOC Youth in the innovation economy through mentorships and access to programs that lead to meaningful employment.

Job Opportunities

Provide transformational employment opportunities.

Venture and Capital Support

Offer access to capital and programs to entrepreneurs seeking opportunities to grow their ideas into viable, sustainable and global platforms through BIPOC Venture Capital Funds.

Community and Leadership

Strengthen all communities by connecting Canada’s established innovators with aspiring innovators.

Inclusive Innovation and Technology

Establish technology and data standards to develop innovation enablers for both consumer and business purposes.

To help women succeed in the technology industry, Claudette recently helped launch the women-focused archangel fund, Phoenix Fire.  These angel-stage investment funds apply a systematic, disciplined approach to investing in women entrepreneurs across Canada. Phoenix Fire offers active portfolio management with experienced angel investors as well as access to high-potential, talented, entrepreneurial women.

When asked about the most significant point of her more than 20 years as a global information technology leader, Claudette points to her decision to leave her role as l Global Executive Officer of Cybersecurity at TD Bank to found Protexxa. “I saw a problem and an opportunity to offer solutions. I decided to go for it by building a new cyber platform and a phenomenal team. It’s been the most rewarding experience of my lifetime.”

Claudette McGowan has made outstanding contributions as a technology leader, mentor and entrepreneur.  Her work to increase access to careers in technology across Canada for BIPOC youth and innovators and to women, to train people to create cyber capabilities, and to foster a new generation of cyber leaders truly makes a profound impact for millions of people around the globe.

You can see more of Claudette’s work with CILAR and her recognitions over the years in the visualizations below.

Do you have an Impact Story to share? Reach out to us at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to have your story featured in an upcoming newsletter!

CEO Message

October has traditionally been a busy month for conferences and meetings.  Of course, that all changed beginning in the spring of 2020, when pandemic restrictions caused meetings all over the world to be canceled and we all pivoted to virtual workshops, webinars, and fully online events.  As a company that connects great people to do great things, we were especially pleased to participate as sponsors and speakers at two in-person conferences in Toronto in October.

At the 2022 THINK Conference, Shawna Reibling, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University, joined Brian Romansky, Profound Impact’s Chief Strategy Officer, to talk about the current state of communicating funding opportunities and how our Research Impact product works to resolve identified pain points in identifying and matching those opportunities with researchers.

The Profound Impact team is nearly 60% women, which is one of the reasons why we decided to sponsor and speak at CAN-CWiC, the premiere Canadian Computing Conference for Women in Technology that brings together researchers, students and companies from across Canada. Our team presented Research Impact to conference attendees and participated in the career fair to introduce students to employment opportunities at Profound Impact and leadership opportunities for women in STEM.

November brings us to the start of the Giving Season and we are pleased to present the second year of our 12 Days of Impact 2022 challenge, which launches on Giving Tuesday – November 29.  Profound Impact challenges you to think about the many ways to create social impact by helping a neighbour, donating blood, volunteering for your favourite cause, or thanking someone who is making an impact in your community, your research network or your organization.  Read more about the 12 Days of Impact in this newsletter to learn how you and your team can get involved!

And, speaking of social impact, this month’s Impact Story features Stephanie and Joe Mancini, founders of the Working Centre in downtown Kitchener, Ontario. The Mancinis started their work to address poverty and homelessness 40 years ago and continue to lead the Centre by example and through partnership with business, government, and funding agencies to spread their message of hope and commitment.

I am delighted that our Profound Impact team was able to meet with researchers, students, and university administrators from across Canada in October.  And, as

we all come back together in meetings, on campuses, in offices and research laboratories, and in gatherings of family and friends, we challenge you to think about how you can make a difference this Giving Season!

As always, we are thankful for your ongoing support and engagement.

Canada’s Podcast

Starting a Company to Influence Culture – Profound Impact on Canada’s Podcast

Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, Profound Impact’s Founder, President and CEO was featured on another podcast! 


Sherry sat down with Canada’s Podcast to discuss entrepreneurship and starting a business to influence culture. As an advocate for women in STEM, Sherry talked about positioning women in business, science, and tech as leaders in post-pandemic recovery and economic development. Listen to Sherry’s episode on Canada’s Podcast to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey, innovation, philanthropy, and Profound Impact.

Stephanie and Joe Mancini

Joe and Stephanie Mancini (photo courtesy of Tomasz Adamski Photography)

Founders, The Working Centre

When they graduated from St. Jerome’s University 40 years ago, during a global and local recession, Stephanie and Joe Mancini wanted to build a culture of service and a place of hospitality for people who were left out of work. They opened the Working Centre in downtown Kitchener in 1982 to offer career and job assistance.  Although times have changed, their mission hasn’t.  It has only expanded to meet the needs of the community. 

Joe and Stephanie met as high school students in their hometown of Hamilton. Joe was inspired by a presentation at his church about building windmills in Tanzania by a mission group called CPPS Mission Projects, a group of priests and brothers from Toronto seeking to involve young students in global relief work. It was not long before Joe and Stephanie joined CPPS and the next summer they were in central Tanzania villages to build windmills for clean water in villages. When they returned to Canada, Joe enrolled at Resurrection College at St. Jerome’s University to study philosophy and history in a priest formation program while Stephanie studied Religious Studies and English at McMaster University. Within months, they directed their time and efforts toward learning about international development and supporting the Tanzania project through fundraising and public education. Together, they realized that they could build upon their informed sense of social justice, and this has been at the core of the Mancini’s work over four decades.

As university students, Stephanie and Joe continued the international development work they started in Tanzania through their active involvement in the Global Community Centre, where they gained valuable experience in community building, and a growing commitment to learn about the community. When they graduated in 1982, already married, their focus turned from global to local issues as hundreds of people were affected by layoffs at Budd Automotive and Lear Canada. The Working Centre took shape as a place to learn about the meaning and structure of work by supporting the unemployed. Soon, St. John’s Kitchen opened to provide a place of community, to help those with food insecurity to prepare a daily meal and share it together, and to provide access to a range of supports and resources.

COVID-19 has exposed the growing homeless situation in Waterloo Region. The Working Centre sprang into action and, working with the Region of Waterloo, added 230 shelter and interim housing beds through three different projects.  As well, St. John’s Kitchen has become as vital as ever, providing daily shelter, access to meals, laundry, and washroom facilities. Over 400 people a day use the different services of St. John’s Kitchen. 

The Working Centre has consistently produced substantial results for the community in creative ways. Over the past ten years, the centre’s 100 – 120 workers have:

·         Built Community Tool projects like Recycle Cycles Community Bike Shop, Queen Street Commons Café, the Market Garden, Worth A Second Look Thrift Store and Computer Recycling that have created sustainable social enterprises that offer great pricing, opportunities for work, and building community.  

·         Created the Job Resource Centre, the most practical, helpful, and hospitable employment resource centre in the region, with a 95% positivity rate provided by users surveyed. Ten weekly volunteers assist 3,000 workers each year, with approximately 1,000 workers achieving 85% success in jobs or training and the remaining 2,000 making use of the resource centre in practical ways. 

·         Employed up to 40 people on a weekly basis in Job Cafe projects. 

·         Served 250 – 300 meals each day at St. John’s Kitchen, from Monday to Friday.  St. John’s Kitchen also provides public washrooms, showers, laundry, and food distribution. 

·         Established a medical clinic that operates three days per week, serves 300 people each year, and is staffed by one nurse, a full-time doctor, and a nurse practitioner.  In addition to the medical clinic, a Specialized Outreach Team, staffed by two teams, each consisting of a nurse and social worker, serve an additional 450 per year each year.  Finally, three downtown street outreach working with a team of 100 weekly volunteers, each working with a caseload of 250 per year.   

·         Provided 70 people with housing in 30 apartments and three houses. A quarter of these units have housed chronically homeless individuals. 

·         Established a Hospitality House to serve six homeless men with acute illnesses. 

·         Built and furnished Community Dental, a clinic staffed by volunteer dentists and seven weekly volunteers that supported about 200 people over its first three years of operation. 

As COVID-19 exacerbated inequities within the community and as the rate of homelessness continued to rise in Waterloo Region, the most vulnerable bore the greatest burdens. Joe and Stephanie Mancini did not shrink from this challenge – they stepped up to serve the community.  “Our work during the pandemic has been hard and deep, relentless and beautiful as we have stood with people who are left out in so many ways – of housing, indoor spaces, bathrooms, safety, and work,” says Stephanie. 

Joe and Stephanie Mancini have noticed a change in people’s understanding of work and the desire to be more impactful. In 2020/21, during the COVID shutdowns, the Working Centre trained 55 new employees who had lost jobs in hospitality, health care, and manufacturing to learn shelter work. This new kind of work is all about bringing your mind, heart, and action into your work every day, which can be hard. It is also where real and meaningful work happens.

The Working Centre has been built and is grounded on the notion of learning about, understanding, and bringing ethics into social issues. The centre has operated with the goals of:

·         Offering sustainable, reliable resources that are agile and responsive to change;

·         Building structures without overdeveloping those structures, and

·         Understanding and fostering local democracy in our community

These goals continue to inform the work that Stephanie and Joe Mancini and their teams do every day. Through trial and error, the Working Centre has built a grassroots organizational model that integrates the stability of the systems-world with the continual change and unpredictability of the life-world. 

The Working Centre has provided the opportunity for approximately 500 University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) undergraduate students to study at their facilities over the past twelve years. Courses offered through Professor Ken Westhues from the University of Waterloo and the Community Engagement Option at WLU have incorporated meaningful discussion and coursework on The Working Centre’s philosophy and approach. When full-time undergraduates travel by bus or car to downtown Kitchener for one of their courses, it is an experience far beyond the realm of academic theory. While courses at the Working Centre don’t differ from those on campus in terms of readings and assignments required, the atmosphere is vastly different. Students receive first-hand experience with the programs of social development provided by the Working Centre while learning about the network of businesses, government agencies, and voluntary associations that form the fabric of Kitchener-Waterloo as a city and community.

Stephanie and Joe Mancini’s work has been greatly influenced by their personal experience in international development, their education at St. Jerome’s University, and the work of social justice activists like Dorothy Day, Ivan Illich, and Dom Hélder Câmara.  Their work in establishing, developing, and running the Working Centre and bridging academia with the community serves as a grassroots organizational model that integrates the stability of the systems-world with the continual change and unpredictability of the life-world. These practices have been central in the profound impact the Mancinis have made in offering vital resources for four decades.

Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!

Inspiring Generosity and Kindness: 12 Days of Impact Challenge 2022

The Profound Impact team is excited to launch 12 Days of Impact 2022 to kick off the giving season. The 12 Days of Impact, in partnership with Giving Tuesday, is dedicated to encouraging the importance of small acts that can make a big difference! Building on Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement, the 12 Days of Impact encourages individuals, organizations, and businesses to address local challenges, promoting kindness, generosity, and the humanitarian spirit.

This year, the Profound Impact team is challenging individuals and organizations to create a community of ambassadors working to make a difference. The 12 Days of Impact will kick off on Giving Tuesday, November 29th, and run until Thursday, December 15th. Check out the Profound Impact 12 Days of Impact calendar, showcasing good deeds and positive acts to encourage us all to make a difference this holiday season! Click here to download a sample calendar with space to insert your own logo and challenge your network! #GivingTuesday

Meet the Team at these Conferences

You can meet the Profound Impact team at these upcoming October conferences!

The annual THINK Conference is happening October 19-20 at the Design Exchange event venue in Downtown Toronto. Profound Impact’s Brian Romansky, along with Shawna Reibling,  Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfred Laurier University, will present The State of Play for Communicating Research Funding Opportunities to Internal and External Stakeholders: Barriers and Opportunities. Based on interviews and survey data collected from research administrators across Canada in 2021, this session will share the current state of how Research Administrators communicate funding opportunities as well as innovative new ways of solving identified pain points.  Register for the hybrid conference here

CAN-CWiC is the premiere Canadian Computing Conference for Women in Technology, taking place October 21-22 at the Delta Hotels by Marriott Toronto Airport and Conference Centre. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone and Sherryl Petricevic will be introducing Research Impact at the conference and Sohail Ramzan and Renata Rusiniak will participate in the Career Fair to introduce students to employment opportunities at Profound Impact. You can use this link to register by October 10th 

CEO Message

I’d like to start by thanking everyone who joined us on September 14 for the third annual Profound Impact Day! We have been building a strong community of supporters over the years and I can’t thank you enough for being such an important part of our impact story.This year, on Profound Impact Day 2022, our team launched Research Impact, a unique and targeted service to automatically match grants to researchers. The Profound Impact team launched Research Impact to solve the challenge of clumsy, manual systems that aren’t digitally enabled to deliver fast, accurate matching capabilities.  

Profound Impact’s unveiling of Research Impact in 2022 follows the launch of Career Impact in 2021, and 2020’s Connection Impact, all of which utilized data driven solutions to support organizations looking to make an impact. Each step in Profound Impact’s evolution remains deeply founded in the academic community while honing in on the most persistent challenge to solve. Our team looks forward to growing our Research Impact pilot project to bring our proprietary algorithms to universities around the world! 

As Profound Impact continues to accelerate forward, I had the opportunity to sit down with the Startup Canada Podcast to discuss the company’s journey, the importance of women and their contributions to STEM, and my experience as a leader and entrepreneur in the tech industry. I can’t wait to share this episode with you. 

This month, the Profound Impact team is attending two conferences. The annual THINK Conference (October 19-20) and the CAN-CWiC Canadian computing conference for Women in Technology (October 21-22). We look forward to meeting you there! 

This month’s Impact Story highlights the amazing story of Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M. who was the winner of this year’s Impactful Actions Award. At just 22 years old, Basu has already made a tremendous impact on our world. We were so inspired by her work through her organization, Green Hope Foundation, and know that you will be too!  

September 14 was and always will be a day to remember and reflect. Your support made recognizing global leaders and changemakers both powerful and memorable! 

As always, we are thankful for your ongoing support and engagement.

Kehkashan Basu

Kehkashan Basu, MS.M.

Founder/President, Green Hope Foundation

A humanitarian with a passion for empowering vulnerable communities, Kehkashan Basu, M.S.M., founded her own charitable organization at the age of 12 in Toronto, Ontario. Now, 10 years later, Green Hope Foundation works across 26 countries, helping more than 300,000 vulnerable women and girls live in a world where all voices are valued. Basu believes that every child has the right to education regardless of their gender, to a clean environment, and the freedom to decide their own destiny.

“I started at a time when advocacy for sustainable development didn’t involve the people who should be included in the process,” Basu said. “I really wanted to change that. Green Hope Foundation came about to address this lack of inclusivity. Over the last decade, working with my team on the ground, as well as engaging with those at the highest levels of policymaking, we’ve really seen our impact grow.”

Basu said Green Hope Foundation is focused on three pillars: sustainability, society and environment. They follow an intersectional approach, recognizing all three pillars in their work. 

“The first actions we really took were with education for sustainable development, reaching out to schools and trying to get children involved,” Basu said. “We also got involved in ground level actions, like tree planting and conducting clean ups.”

Basu started her advocacy journey by planting a tree on her eighth birthday, which falls on June 5: World Environment Day. The United Nations noticed her work and invited Basu to speak at one of the largest sustainable development conferences at the time, Rio+20, in 2012. 

“I grew up seeing my parents giving back to people and the planet their whole lives,” Basu said. “I thought everyone was doing something good for the environment and for their community. But, slowly and steadily, I realized there were a lot of other inequities in our world. There was a tremendous lack of inclusivity of children and women in achieving a sustainable world.” 

Green Hope Foundation has seen a tremendous amount of growth since it began a decade ago. The group has planted 950,000 trees so far and hopes to hit 1 million by the end of the year. 

“We are learning and growing every single day,” Basu said. “We understand that our work can really never stop. Even if we do achieve a sustainable world, we have to do something to maintain that.”

In 2015, Green Hope Foundation installed solar panels to an area in western India with no access to electricity. The panels are still in use today, and have helped the area thrive.

“We have an energy system that enables farming, we have a full solar grid for their schools,” Basu said. “The children, and the girls specifically, are getting lessons in STEM in a solar-powered computer lab.”

The organization plans to continue expanding into the future, upscaling current projects and thinking of new ways to engage. “We want to continue to educate the younger generation about why it’s important to care for the community and the planet,” Basu said. 

Basu received her undergraduate degree at the University of Toronto, majoring in environmental studies and minoring in women and gender studies and physical and environmental geography. “Those subjects were a no-brainer for me,” she said. “I wanted to get a degree in something that I was passionate about.” Now, Basu is in her first year of her MBA at Cornell University. By specializing in business, she hopes to engage the private sector in the work of Green Hope Foundation in the future. 

Last month, Basu was named the winner of the 2022 Impactful Actions Award, an annual award presented by Profound Impact™ Corporation to recognize individuals who are inspiring collaborative solutions to difficult global problems.

“It’s a huge honour,” Basu said. “I really like that it’s focused on impact, because it’s a motivation for me to continue to do more, create more impact and inspire others.”

You can see highlights of Basu’s education and accomplishments in the visualizations below:

You can see highlights of the work of Green Hope Foundation in the visualizations below:

Do you have an impact story to share? Let us know at connections@profoundimpact.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming newsletter!